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New virus strains started to spread faster: Health Minister Koca

Turkey‘s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca attributed a rise in coronavirus cases on a faster spread of COVID-19 variations on March 10. 

Following a Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Committee meeting, Koca said in a statement: “A total of 41,488 cases of the U.K. variant of coronavirus in 76 provinces, 61 cases of South African variant in nine provinces, two cases of California-New York variant, and a case of Brazilian variant in a province have been detected so far.”

Koca warned that the new virus strains have started to spread faster.

“Though this does not affect hospitalization in a parallel way, it has the potential of [causing] more cases, more patients,” he said.

The last week’s data showed that people should be more careful about measures not to cause a rise in case numbers, Koca noted.

“We still don’t have any other way to fight these fast-spreading variants than measures and the vaccine,” he said.

On Jan. 14, Turkey began a mass COVID-vaccination campaign, starting with healthcare workers along with top officials to encourage public confidence in the vaccines.

On March 1, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the easing of coronavirus restrictions based on circumstances in individual provinces.

Since last December, Turkey has been implementing curfew on weeknights.

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